Monday, May 27, 2013


I’ll never forget the moment when my first nursing license came in the mail. I swear I stared at it for hours! I was never so proud of anything I had done up to that point. However, reality hit me when I started working in an acute care hospital.  I realized that I no longer had the safety blanket of my instructor to protect me - I was on my own as a professional RN and I was scared to death! After all, I worked really hard to get my license but I wasn't sure what to do to protect it.
We’ve all read the horror stories about nurses who lost their licenses and want to make sure that doesn't happen to us! 

Keeping your license safe can’t just be with a lick and a prayer. It’s important that as you start your career you follow these 3 key strategies to protect YOUR nursing license:
1.    Know the ANA Code of Ethics and Nursing Practice Act in your state. They are the rules and laws by which nurses are held accountable.  They provide the blueprint for professional practice and guidance for legal and ethical behavior.  Scope of practice, behaviors that will result in license termination and qualifications for licensure can be found in these documents.
     To read the ANA Code of Ethics, click here.
2.    Join a professional nursing organization. These organizations are dedicated to the advancement, education and affiliation of nursing.  They provide nurses with the resources to get answers regarding scope of practice and professional behavior.
3.    Know your organizations policies and procedures. As an employee, you are bound to comply with policies.  Policies are created to improve care, comply with external regulations and to avoid risk.  Many nurses don’t understand that if an error occurs, although they may be covered under the organization’s malpractice insurance, this may only apply IF he or she followed their policies.  If you did not follow policy, you and your license are at risk.

You worked really hard for your license.  Make sure you know how to protect it! Knowledge is power.  Ignorance is not a defense.

Thanks so much for becoming a nurse! I’m cheering for your success.

Take care and stay connected

If you're a nursing student or new nurse, you might be interested in my eBook titled, "Survive and Thrive: A Guide Helping New Nurses Succeed." To check it out, click here.

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